Well, except for the product placement, the implication that the Earth isn’t under a one government rule, and that the economics of the future are a little different (according to Picard) which is not followed here, most of this tale is fairly enjoyable.
In fact, of it had been rewritten and edited a little more strongly, this would have been something amazing. If the themes at the heart of the story had just been brought a little more to the fore, this could have been a truly worthy Star Trek tale. Unfortunately, a lot of the ideas get lost along the way.
The Enterprise suffers from a bit of a disaster which leaves transporters and warp drives offline.
As usual though, they are the only ship in the immediate area that can deal with an issue that has come up: A terrorist attack on the planet Centaurus wipes out an entire city, and kills hundreds of thousands.
Captain James T. Kirk and company are ordered to bring those involved in causing the disaster be brought to trial. There is a personal angle to the story as well, Dr. McCoy’s daughter, Joanna, attends med school in the city that was destroyed, so her fate causes a lot of stress and grief for McCoy and her Uncle Jim.
As Kirk, Spock, Sulu and Chekov travel to the surface to try to help, Uhura gets the centre seat.
Kirk and Sulu thanks to an old friend are led to those responsible for the attack, and though they mention the whys of their reasons, it’s really glossed over, which is too bad, because something like this, Trek handles so well.
The attack was caused by small-minded racist and xenophobic people who don’t want to share their planet. Trek would excel at knocking back such terrible, and out of date concepts – in fact racist and xenophobia are things that the show’s heart rails against.
This could have been a fantastic tale, but instead the themes and ideas get pushed to the back and aren’t explored as completely as they could.
I also really like the idea that Kirk has been assigned the unenviable task of taking these villains back to Earth for trial, instead of leaving them to the justice system of Centaurus which would hand down a death sentence to them.
It separates the ideas of justice and vengeance nicely.
This could have been something fantastic, but the use of name brands and product placement, really hinders the tale. There’s too much that seems anachronistic to the story, and the universe it exists in.
The Human Adventure continues…